Although it's important to have your dog groomed regularly by a professional dog wash company, you can help to keep your dog fresh and fragrant in between appointments. Many dogs have problems with smelly, waxy ears, which can be both an irritant to your pet and unpleasant for you. Here are some top tips for keeping your dog's ears clean and odour-free.
Why some dogs' ears get so smelly
The dog's ear canal is quite long and has a sharp right angled bend. As your pooch runs through long grass, rolls in dust, and sniffs around in your garden, bits of dirt and drops of water enter the ear canal where they become trapped. This damp, warm, dark environment is perfect for the proliferation of bacteria, and it's these that cause the unpleasant smell.
How to clean your dog's ears
You'll need some special veterinary ear cleaner solution for this job, which you can get from your vet or dog groomer. You will also need a bag of your dog's favourite treats, which you can use to reward him throughout the procedure.
- Begin by holding the protective flap of your pet's ear up, so that you can access the ear canal. Measure out the recommended dose of ear cleaner, as per the manufacturer's instructions, and drop it into the ear.
- Spend a few minutes gently massaging the ear cleaner into the ear. To do this, bring the ear flap down into its natural position and slowly rub the base of the ear in a circular motion.
- Allow your pet to shake his head to clear out any remaining solution.
- Next, pour some ear cleaner onto a cotton wool ball and use it to wipe down the underside of the ear flaps. Never insert a cotton wool ball or swab deeply into your dog's ear, as this could push any wax even deeper into the ear canal and cause damage.
- Dry the ear flap thoroughly using a clean, dry cotton wool ball.
If your dog's ears seem excessively smelly or if he is continually shaking his head, he could have an infection. Ear infections are extremely painful, so consult your vet without delay.
Some dogs have very hairy ears. These hairs are designed to prevent dirt and water from entering the ears, but they can trap dirt and become matted with excess wax, leading to infection. It's therefore a good idea to ask your dog groomer to remove the hairs by plucking them out to help keep your dog's ears clean.
Pond water can contain harmful bacteria that could cause an ear infection. If your dog enjoys swimming, pop a cotton wool ball into each of his ears before he takes the plunge to help keep the nasties out. Remember to remove the cotton wool after he's finished his paddle.
You can help to keep your dog's ears clean, fragrant, and free from infection in between professional grooming visits by cleaning them using the guidelines above. If your dog is reluctant to have his ears cleaned, don't struggle on your own, use the services of a good mobile dog wash like Foxy's Mobile Dog Washing & Grooming Service to do the job for you.